Sliding into September

For me (Amy), this season is slipping by incredibly quickly and now it is already September. With fall comes back to school for many in Missoula, glove-worthy morning bike rides, and serious food preserving efforts (as discussed in recent Real Dirt blog posts). Today I’ll keep it short and sweet with one volunteer profile, a late summer recipe, and Team Orchard Gardens season (rather than school) pictures brought to you by our volunteer Mary.

Meet Pat!

Age: 27

About: A Connecticut native, Pat went to school in Bozeman to study earth science. Now he is a substitute teacher throughout the Missoula area. Pat frequently teaches math and science classes of all ages, but gym is his true favorite.

Favorite Vegetable: Cauliflower and zucchini

Most used cookbook: Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen and Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Staple Food: Enchiladas made with sweet potatoes, black beans, onions, zucchinis, spinach or any other seasonal veggies

Summer Highlight: A 5-day river trip on the Smith River with his girlfriend Kelly (also a volunteer), his dog Henry, and other friends.

How he first came to Volunteer for Veggies? After working on a sheep ranch outside of Bozeman, Pat and Kelly moved to Missoula and stumbled upon Garden City Harvest. They were referred to Orchard Gardens during a volunteer lull and two years later, Pat frequently helps out during our CSA harvests. Kelly joins when she isn’t dancing or going to graduate school.

Why he keeps coming back to Orchard Gardens? He enjoys working with our staff and having the opportunity to try new vegetables every time he is here. This week’s sample was a lemon cucumber. Also, Pat lives close-by and appreciates how easy it is to walk or bike to our location using the bike path.

Recipe of the Week: Southwest Bean Salad

This recipe brings the taste of summer to my mind. It can be easily altered by adding or substituting any veggies and is great with tortilla chips, in a wrap, or on a bed of greens. Since there are so many variations out there of this dish, below is a guideline for the most essential ingredients and common additions.

Primary ingredients: fresh corn, diced tomatoes, combination of black, garbanzo, and kidney beans, diced avocado, minced cilantro and parsley, chopped red onion or shallots, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste

Options: bell pepper, poblano pepper, diced jalapeno, a mild cheese, shredded cabbage